Watches: In Celebration of Brazil and the FIFA 2014 World Cup
By Thierry Ané on June 27, 2014
I don’t know about you but I am having a football overdose! Don’t get me wrong though: I have not watched a single match. But, even if you are not interested in this sport, it is impossible not to hear about it. Suddenly, it becomes a talking point and everybody wonders whether their national team will win fame this time. Wherever you go football is all around you: whether it is a television switched on a sports channel in bars and restaurants, or a taxi driver offering you his unsolicited forecasts and “insightful” comments on last night’s game, or even the news on your Yahoo homepage that has an irritating tendency of focusing on football lately.
Fortunately though, given the pathetic results of England and the beginning of Wimbledon this week, things should return to normal very soon here in the United Kingdom. Blue, green and yellow will cease to be associated with the FIFA 2014 World Cup and will be regarded again as the joyful colours of an amazing country, namely Brazil. It thus seems like the perfect time to get a closer look at what this football frenzy brought to the watch world.
Bvlgari Octo Bi-Retro Brazil
To pay tribute to Brazil, Bvlgari selected its Octo Bi-Retro model. Part of the Gerald Genta line, this octagonal-shaped 43 mm watch has a lot of character. For this 50-piece limited edition version, the brand opted for a stainless steel case paired with a black ceramic bezel and a textured black rubber strap. To remain faithful to its classic style full of elegance, the Italian manufacture decided to restrict the reference to Brazil’s national colours to the dial of the watch. Nevertheless, the blue champlevé lacquer with green and yellow chapters represents a vibrant homage to the football-crazy South American nation. Equipped with the Gerald Genta GG 7722 self-winding calibre, the Octo Bi-Retro Brazil features jumping hours, retrograde minutes, and a retrograde date indication. I refer you to my previous articleFlash News: Bvlgari Octo Bi-Retro Brazil if you want to learn more about this distinctive model.
Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk Brazil
Released in 2013 in a limited run of 25 pieces, the Chrono Hawk Brazil features the brand’s new 44 mm Hawk case in stainless steel. Immediately recognisable with its octagonal black rubber ring beneath the brushed steel bezel, this model houses the GP03300 calibre, a self-winding chronograph movement with 46 hours of power reserve. Showing the same restraint as Bvlgari, Girard-Perregaux only customised the dial of the watch and restricted the use of yellow for the inner flange and green for the chronograph counters.
Hublot King Power Scolari
Hublot is not the kind of brand that shies away from customisation: the brand’s design team was more than happy to play along with the extremely bright colours of the Brazilian flag to unveil a very youthful King Power model with a skeletonised “Aero” dial. I have already discussed the stunning King Power Scolari in a recent articleFlash News: Hublot King Power Scolari. Crafted in black ceramic with a carbon fibre bezel, this 48 mm timepiece limited to 50 units is a vibrant tribute to Brazil. Its sapphire dial presents a green small seconds sub-dial transfer featuring a white minute track with yellow five-minute markings. It is surrounded by the chronograph 45-minute chapter ring in bright yellow with green five-minute markers. The semi-skeletonized black nickel hours and minutes hands as well as the black nickel hour appliqués are filled with yellow SuperLuminova. The colours of Brazil are picked up on the rubber moulding of the black PVD titanium chronograph pushers: yellow for the Start/Stop button and green for the Reset pusher. It is mounted on a splendid yellow alligator strap with green stitches sewn onto black rubber.
Parmigiani Fleurier Pershing 005 Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol
The Pershing 005 Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol is part of Parmigiani Fleurier’s sporty Pershing collection. Crafted in titanium, this 45 mm chronograph model boasts a white gold bezel. It is equipped with the brand’s PF 334 automatic calibre with 50 hours of power reserve. This watch showcases the most refined dial of this selection: blue with elegant Côtes de Genève decorations, it also presents silver chronograph counters with yellow hands and five green stars symbolizing the five World Cups that Brazil has won so far. It is mounted on a bold yellow rubber strap stamped with the iconic emblem of the CBF, a motif also engraved on the titanium case back of the watch. Overall, it is quite an unexpected model for the very classic Parmigiani Fleurier.
RJ-Romain Jerome Titanic DNA Steampunk Chronograph Brazil
RJ-Romain Jerome is not what you would call a classic brand and its tribute to the country hosting the FIFA 2014 World Cup is the perfect illustration of this brand’s spirit. The model is characterised by its strong steampunk style with an openwork dial featuring an oversized ruthenium “XII” Roman numeral, a reference to a ship’s propeller at 6 o’clock and four screwed-down pistons holding the movement in place. On the Titanic DNA Steampunk Chronograph Brazil, it is combined with flashy references to the Brazilian flag: the watch presents a yellow lacquered inner bezel complemented by a yellow rubber ring on the crown and it is mounted on a bold yet magnificent green alligator strap with yellow stitches. The self-winding RJ001-CS movement with chronograph function animates this beautiful watch launched a week ago.
Despite reaching very quickly a saturation point with football, I do not seem to experience the same kind of intolerance to football-inspired timepieces and I really enjoy the models presented here. The FIFA 2014 World Cup brings an entirely unexpected colour palette to the watch world. Sure yellow, green and blue mixed together are not the most multi-purpose combination but it allows watch designers to express their creativity and introduce very different products. You may not want to wear the watches of this selection every day, but one thing is certain: you will feel very special whenever you wear one. For these reasons, the models I prefer here are those completely unapologetic about using flashy colours in every part of the watch.
The models presented by Bvlgari and Girard-Perregaux are a bit too conservative for me. Parmigiani Fleurier’s model has all the right colours but somehow the dial is not garish enough relative to the yellow rubber strap. The Titanic DNA Steampunk Chronograph Brazil and the King Power Scolari are by far my favourite “World Cup” models: they fully embrace the colours of Brazil on both their captivating openwork/skeleton dials and stunning highly-coloured alligator straps.